People in support of voter ID want say in challenge to law

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HARRISBURG -- A group of Pennsylvania voters who support requiring photo identification at the polls is arguing it should have a say in a lawsuit challenging the new law.

Where the lawsuit filed earlier this month argues the cases of people who say they would lose their ability to vote under the law, a petition before the Commonwealth Court asks permission for eight Pennsylvania residents to intervene in the case to protect their own votes from dilution by illegitimate ballots. The petition argues that one of those residents, state Rep. Tom Killion, R-Delaware, has an additional interest in the new requirement because he is running for re-election.

The people seeking to intervene are represented by Pittsburgh attorney Kathleen Jones Goldman, and Washington, D.C., attorney Michael T. Morley has applied to appear on their behalf. Ms. Goldman is the chairwoman of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association and has co-authored an opinion piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette arguing for the voter ID law.

Mr. Morley, also a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association, served in the administration of President George W. Bush as special assistant to the general counsel of the Army. (The executive director of the Republican National Lawyers Association, Michael Thielen, said the association supports voter ID laws but is not involved in the petition.)

The petition argues the voter ID law, which takes full effect at the November general election, is a reasonable regulation of elections and will not disenfranchise eligible voters.

Court filings describe the remaining petitioners as two Democrats and four Republicans who are qualified to vote in Pennsylvania. A response filed on Wednesday by the parties challenging the law, including the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the legal concerns of voters who support the law will be protected by the attorney general's office, which is representing the commonwealth, Gov. Tom Corbett and Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele in the suit.

A hearing is scheduled for next week on the petition to intervene, and the state is scheduled to submit its response to the lawsuit by June 1.

state

Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 1-717-787-2141. First Published May 17, 2012 12:00 AM


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